Real estate lending businesses
dig deep to attract key personnel

Recruiting property debt specialists is becoming more expensive as market entrants hunt for talent,
writes Daniel Cunningham.

As more organisations have set up stall in Europe’s real estate lending market, competition to hire the industry’s debt specialists has intensified, leading to big-ger salaries and bonuses, the results of a sector-wide compensation survey show. For a third year running, real assets executive search firm Sousou Partners has exclusively provided annual compensation data to Real Estate Capital Europe.

The data, gathered from people moves during 2021, plus pay scales reported by the firm’s employer clients shows a clear upward trajectory in compensation across the investment banking and alternative lender segments of Europe’s real estate debt market – in which London-based Sousou is most active.

For example, in 2020, the median salary for a managing director-level employee within a non-bank lending organisation was €360,000, with the median bonus level at €580,000. In 2021, somebody at the same level of seniority could expect those figures to be €380,000 and €610,000, respectively. Similarly, within real estate lending divisions of the investment banking industry, Sousou reported median salary growth of €15,000 to €455,000 from 2020 to 2021, at managing director level, with bonuses up €30,000 to a median of €620,000.

While salaries and bonuses at investment banks have the edge on alternative lenders, senior staff at the latter type of organisation also benefit from carried interest, which is not captured in the survey results due to its myriad structures across the industry.

Published on – Real Estate Capital Europe • Spring 2022